A Lighter Note: Early Erik

I’m going to share a few things here that I had written for the longer-running family blog but which also seem appropriate for this one. Here are some thoughts I had on being a writer a few years back…

I remember a moment in the first grade, when we were each writing stories – the kinds kids write, drawing pictures above the words. My teacher, Miss Neu, came and stood beside me and told me I was going to be a writer some day. That is one of the earliest school memories I have, and the moment has always stuck with me. I envisioned myself writing books or as a sports writer. In fact, that’s what I went to college to become – a journalism major. Of course, my college admissions officer lied when she told my parents and me that Carthage College had a wonderful journalism program. It had no journalism program. Not even a single class. The Communications major was entirely theater-driven when I arrived on campus in the fall of 1993.

Oh, well. I loved college. I wish I had taken a business class or two, but I loved being a Religion major. At any rate, I have always loved to write – and I have always had my own, unique style. I have more than once, while a student, been accused of plagiarism because of the way I write, and I was once told by an academic adviser that I was not a well-developed writer because he didn’t like my style. I learned after that to be able to write academically/formally, as well as my informal, personal style. I don’t know if I will ever get around to writing a book or anything that will be published, but writing 1-2 sermons a week keeps that ability challenged and polished.

Anyway, I share all this because I have been looking back lately at how I got here. My journey (which is ongoing) and the way my life experiences have prepared me for who I am today are fascinating – I hope it’s that way for everyone. When we live it, it all seems so random and chaotic, but when we look back it all somehow makes sense. Okay, having said all that, I thought I would share an early piece of my writing – the first piece I remember being proud of. I believe I won some sort of award for it, or was at least entered into some sort of contest, but what I really remember is feeling like this was truly me – that my personality had come through in my writing and I was proud of what I had written. At the time, I was a junior in high school and the Sports Editor of the high school newspaper. This was published in our Christmas edition, and it is extremely autobiographical. And I received the highest honor I could imagine: I was invited by the extended Schmidt family – the same people lampooned in the column – to read my piece before Christmas dinner, the very thing it was about. I was a little nervous, but I was far more excited, honored and proud. Considering it was written by a high schooler, it still holds up pretty well, apart from bad comma usage… I hope you enjoy it! Oh, click on the first photo to be able to make it big enough to read, then you can click through to the right to finish it.

The Schmidt Family Home (3rd Edition!)

I remember a moment in the first grade, when we were each writing stories – the kinds kids write, drawing pictures above the words.  My teacher, Miss Neu, came and stood beside me and told me I was going to be a writer some day.  That is one of the earliest school memories I have, and the moment has always stuck with me.  I envisioned myself writing books or as a sports writer.  In fact, that’s what I went to college to become – a journalism major.  Of course, my college admissions officer lied when she told my parents and me that Carthage College had a wonderful journalism program.  It had no journalism program.  Not even a single class.  The Communications major was entirely theater-driven when I arrived on campus in the fall of 1993.

Oh, well.  I loved college.  I wish I had taken a business class or two…

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